John Meade: February—April 2019


John Meade


VCA - Melbourne University

Born in Ballarat in 1956, Melbourne-based sculptor John Meade is one of Australia’s leading artists and has held regular individual and group exhibitions with galleries and museums since 1995.

Artist Statement: During my stay at Phasmid, I will be conducting research into early German Expressionist film and film sets, for an upcoming exhibition in Australia. I am interested in the way Expressionist style gave form to the artists’ emotional and subjective responses to the shock of the First World War. One hundred years later, new battle lines are being drawn, as we confront the existential threat posed by the environmental desecration of this planet. The challenge for me as an artist is that I wish to express this catastrophic systems failure, by summoning some kind of pre-linguistic force that leads us through. The filmmaker, Paul Schrader, would describe the forms that might emerge from this enquiry as transcendental style.

John Meade: Maquette for Everyday Devotional (2015/2016)

Making of John Meade's "Riverside Corolla"

This residency program is generously supported by the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, The University of Melbourne.

Archi Barry: October—December 2018

Archie Barry, Hypnic, 2017

Achie Barry

4 October—20 December 2018

VCA - Melbourne University

Archie Barry is an interdisciplinary artist based in Melbourne who works primarily across performance, video and music composition. They are interested in cognitive estrangement and forging artistic and social strategies to create peculiar experiences of time and bodies. Across all their work the idea of a single coherent self is questioned, variously through an aesthetic of non-disclosure and/or the uncanny doubling of their voice and body. In 2018 their work has been exhibited at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, The State Library of Victoria, Neon Parc (all Melbourne) and Artspace Sydney amongst other space. They have also given performance lectures and talks at the Melbourne Art Fair and the Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne) and have written for Art and Australia and Archer magazines. They are currently collaborating with Spence Messih towards a new performance at the National Gallery of Australia. Barry completed a Masters of Contemporary Art at Victorian College of the Arts in 2017.

Artist Statement: This residency will be used primarily for the research and development of new work for an impending solo exhibition in 2019. Quietude, pauses and silent exquisite gestures are recurrent elements of my artistic practice that I will have the space to explore during this 3 month residency. The solitude of studio living and Berlin entering winter form the perfect conditions for deepening reflective practices including meditation, vocalisation and qi gong. These forms of embodied awareness are critical to my work and help me to create a state of ‘unintegrated’ consciousness: being able to watch the thoughts and sensations of my body often provides ideas for performance and video work. 

Works from the "Someone Looks at Something or Not" series ( selection ), which draws on the Australian artist Peter Tyndall’s series “A Person Looks at a Work of Art/someone looks at something”. all works are digital drawings, 2018.

This residency program is generously supported by the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, The University of Melbourne.

Barb Bolt: August—October 2018

Barbara Bolt at work during her residency

Barb Bolt

4 August—30 October 2018

VCA - Melbourne University

Dr Barbara Bolt is a practising artist and art theorist and Professor in Contemporary Arts and Culture at the Victorian College of Arts at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Her publications include two monographs Art Beyond Representation: The Performative Power of the Image (2004) and Heidegger Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (2011) and four co-edited publications, Material Inventions: Applying Creative Arts Research (2014), Carnal Knowledge: Towards a “New Materialism” through the Arts (2013), Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry (2007) and Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (2007). She is an ambassador for the cause of artistic research through her work on governing and editorial boards—The Society for Artistic Research, Studies in Material Thinking, Adelaide Central School of Art, Goldsmiths Press, Visual Methodologies and Studio Research. She is a member of the International Reference Group GEXcel International Collegium for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, and COST New Materialisms network on ‘How Matter Comes to Matter.”

The Phasmid residency affords me the opportunity to extend my work on expressions of urban alienation and identity. The project is concerned specifically with picturing relationality in transitional places in urban spaces—building sites, tram and train stations, parks and swimming pools—spaces of alienation as well as of possible connection. Working across digital and analogue platforms, “light” becomes key formal element in figuring psycho-social relations.

Works from the "Someone Looks at Something or Not" series ( selection ), which draws on the Australian artist Peter Tyndall’s series “A Person Looks at a Work of Art/someone looks at something”. all works are digital drawings, 2018.

This residency program is generously supported by the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, The University of Melbourne.

Yandell Walton: May—August 2018

Yandell Walton

Yandell Walton

7 May—30 July 2018

VCA - Melbourne University

The impermanence of life is a major theme within Yandell Walton’s practice, creating installations that have a tension between the material and immaterial. Often working with architectural spaces or objects and combining them with projected images her immersive installations blur the actual and the virtual through the representation of light, time, shadow and figures. Interested in creating work that stimulates individuals both intellectually and emotionally, her work utilises the medium of projection to highlight ephemerality.

Artist Statement

The 3 month residency will allow time to develop my practice using new technology in particular 3D scanning and printing, focusing on the degradation effects of mobile scanning technology. My interest in exploring the potential of these technologies will allow me to understand the possibilities and limitations to create a new body of work to further investigate notions of impermanence, especially in relation to the natural world and climate change.

Yandell lives and works in Melbourne, her work has been exhibited regularly in non-traditional and public spaces both in Australia and Internationally. In 2015 she completed a Masters of Fine Arts at Victorian College of the Arts.  Her work has been part of Light City Baltimore (2016), Digital Graffiti Florida (2015), Experimenta Speak to Me (Melbourne & Brisbane 2012-14), VIVID Festival Sydney (2013), ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Art 2013) and White Night Festival Melbourne (2013/15).

This residency is generously supported by a Special Study Program (Long), VCA & MCM Faculty Research Grant, the University of Melbourne.

Isabelle Sully : February—May 2018

Mouthpiece (performance still), 2017, live broadcast, audio narration, script, cue cards, perspex, permanent marker, 13min.

Isabelle Sully

1 February—30 April 2018

VCA - Melbourne University

During her time at PHASMID Studios, Isabelle Sully will be working on a new project titled Transit Through Handshake, which will involve the development three new context-based performance works that take the dual meaning of the term lobby—that is, the lobby as an architectural space and lobbying as a political activity—as a starting point. The performances will each be accompanied by a sculptural apparatus designed for public address which will assist with the eventual performance of the works.

Isabelle Sully (b. 1991, AU) works as an artist, curator and writer. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) from the Victoria College of the Arts in 2013 and a Master of Arts (Art Praxis) from the Dutch Art Institute in 2017. Originally from Melbourne, she is now living in Rotterdam where she is the editor at Publication Studio. Through exaggerating the labouring of the framing gesture – by enacting the performance of documentation, of administration, of bureaucracy, for example – her practice aims to move the frame into the content of her works. This is not to arrive at a reveal of what happens ‘behind closed doors’, but to acknowledge administration as the materiality of institutionalised practice and, through this, find contractual possibilities where institutional policy can be held and enacted in common. Recent works and projects have adopted forms and sites of public address – live broadcasts, PA systems, newspapers, lobbies, lectures, speeches, inscriptions, plaques – to understand the mechanisms of the public record as a place of extraction, proclamation, and, therefore, subjection. 

This residency is generously supported by a Special Study Program (Long), VCA & MCM Faculty Research Grant, the University of Melbourne.

Roger Alsop : December 2017

Roger Alsop at Phasmid

Roger Alsop

December 2017

VCA - Melbourne University

Roger Alsop is a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). He works in sound and audiovisuals exploring the physical, intellectual, and emotional space, how these intersect and influence each other. — During his stay at Phasmid he is working on two projects: ‘the Acoustic AudioVisual laptop’, which uses the inherent sound making capacity of a laptop in creating improvised AV works and ‘Sounding Finnegans Wake’ which explores how the sonic characteristics of Joyce’s text may be used to create sound art.

In 2017 iterations of these projects have been presented in Barcelona, Belgrade, Melbourne, Adelaide, Edinburgh, Benevento, and Berlin

We are delighted to share the final edit of sound-works by Roger Alsop produced during his residency time at Phasmid Studios. Please visit the following link to listen see the full list of recordings >

This residency is generously supported by a Special Study Program (Long), VCA & MCM Faculty Research Grant, the University of Melbourne.


Elizabeth Gower : October—November 2017

Elizabeth Gower

Elizabeth Gower

1 October—30 November 2018

VCA - Melbourne University

The majority of Elizabeth Gower’s works are made from familiar, paper detritus (i.e. packaging, advertising brochures, magazines, posters) sourced from the domestic and urban environments. These retrieved materials record the transitory images, text and symbols of contemporary life. The structure and geometry of the works also reference the geography, socio-political and/or cultural histories of the studio location.

Dr. Elizabeth Gower is a Senior Lecturer and ART150 Research Fellow at VCA ART, The University of Melbourne. She has held over 35 one-person exhibitions in Australia, US, UK, Europe and UAE. Recent exhibitions have been in Melbourne 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013; New York 2014, 2009, 2008; Virginia 2009; Sharjah 2008; and Paris 2007.

Her work has been included in significant curated exhibitions in major institutions such as: AC Institute, New York; ACCA Melbourne; AGNSW, Sydney; AGSA, Adelaide; Artists Space, New York; Brevard Art Museum, Florida; Heide MoMA; Ian Potter Museum of Art; IMA, Brisbane; Linden Contemporary, Melbourne; MCA, Sydney; MUMA, Melbourne; NGA, Canberra; NGV, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Michigan. As well she has exhibited in the Sydney Biennale; Ballarat International Foto Biennale; Melbourne Now, NGV; Armory Show, New York; Gramacy International, New York, ARCO Madrid and Art Dubai.

She is the recipient of numerous awards including: American Australian Association, Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, Australian Postgraduate Award, Alliance Française Art Fellowship as well as Grants from the Australia Council, Arts Victoria, City of Melbourne, and NETS Victoria. In addition, she has been awarded studio residencies at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Paretaio studio, Pisa; Australia Council studios in Barcelona and New York; Laughing Waters, Nillumbik and Point [B], New York.

This residency is generously supported by a Special Study Program (Long), VCA & MCM Faculty Research Grant, the University of Melbourne.

Jan Murray : July—September 2017

Jan Murray showing her work to visitors

Jan Murray

1 July—30 September 2017

VCA - Melbourne University

In 2017 Jan Murray returned to Phasmid Studios to further research her enduring exploration of the traditions of tromp I’oeil and her investigation of the ‘anatomy’ of painting – specifically the relationship between the intrinsic and extrinsic architecture of the two dimensional canvas and the wall on which it hangs.

Developing on from a body of work begun at Phasmid in her 2016 residency, Jan continued to focus on architectural elements (vents and grilles) but also introduced other functional elements such as chutes and utility cupboards. These highly representational paintings were mainly sourced and faithfully modeled on examples of architectural features taken from Studio 5 at Phasmid and its immediate surrounds but also from various buildings in Berlin and Melbourne.

Largely realized in 1:1 scale these small, intimate paintings masquerade as unassuming functional elements, creating a subtle, yet insistent intervention in the space as they merge into their architectural surrounds. The chutes and utility cupboards represented with their doors and openings slightly ajar invite us to contemplate the worlds hidden within the painted surfaces as well as offering access to the internal architecture/ lived history of the building, – elevating the mundane into the mysterious. Another series of paintings, imaging shuttered windows from the neighbouring housing estate, similarly creates intrigue about the interior realities of these domestic residences while simultaneously bringing Jan’s view from the window into the studio.

Far more than mere quotation, this work encourages us to re-think our engagement with the architecture of spaces, to notice essential functional elements that are normally not ‘ considered or seen’ and to engage with processes of looking, perception and representation.

Jan Murray completed her postgraduate qualifications at the VCA and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). She has received an Australia Council Project Grant and her Australia Council Residencies include Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Via Farini, Milan and in 2010 the British School at Rome, Rome. Since 1982 she has shown regularly in both solo and group exhibitions in public museums, commercial galleries and artist run initiatives. Her work has been included in national and international surveys of contemporary art in Australia, Germany, France, Italy and the USA. Her work is widely represented in significant Australian public collections and she has also been collected by the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. In 1999, she was recipient of a Nillumbik Shire Art Award. In 2003, the City of Glen Eira Gallery initiated a major touring exhibition, Southern Light: the art of Jan Murray, a twenty year survey of her installation and painting work. She is currently Head of the School of Art and Honours Coordinator and has taught at the VCA since 1983. She is represented by Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne. Research Interests Since 1990 Jan Murray’s practice has focused on certain relationships between painting and its internal and external architecture. Using a variety of means, she has presented the painting itself as subject or motif in seeking to interrogate the relationship between the painting and its primary support – the wall – and the architectural space in which it is placed. She has also expanded the investigation of these relationships through the introduction of three-dimensional representation – the creation and installation of plaster simulacra of paintings. This development added a sculptural dimension to the work and openly enhanced possibilities for play with altered realities and the dialogue between object and space. Recently she has tested the literal and metaphorical limits of painting as object and illusionistic vehicle. Building on previous work in which the paradoxes of perception and representation inherent in both looking and painting were acutely focused in an examination of the complex relationship between creative and destructive action.

This residency is generously supported by a Special Study Program (Long), VCA & MCM Faculty Research Grant, the University of Melbourne.

Kellie Wells : April—May 2017

Kellie Wells

Kellie Wells

1 April—30 June 2017

VCA - Melbourne University

Kellie Wells, Artists statement, 20 March 2017

During my stay at Phasmid Studio here in Berlin my purpose is to continue my research in the subject of personal ritual, sacred practice and self-representation.  Never having been to Berlin before there is much for me to see and do to inspire and evolve my own practice.  I come here seeking to encounter the visual and emotional feel of spaces, places and artworks in the physical that I would normally experience via the digital realm or in the pages of a book – to touch and feel them not only with my eyes.

In the studio I have brought very little with me on my long journey so shall return to the intimacy of my drawing practice with the intention of making a series of A3 sized ink and gouache drawings reminiscent of the visual poems, prayers and stories told in ancient painted handscrolls and books. Across different cultures these sacred scrolls and concertina-style books were able to be handheld and could travel intimately with the body. They often told a sacred tale with each panel taking the viewer on an intimate journey or through stages of a ceremony or sacred rites as a focus for personal meditation.   With myself at the centre of this story I shall reflect and respond to what I see and feel during my time in Berlin and use my commitment to self-reflective drawing as a tool of focus and meditation on the creative evolutionary potential of my short stay here.

Kellie Wells completed her MFA by Research qualification at the VCA, University of Melbourne in 2016.  She subsequently received the Fiona Myers International Studio Residency Award undertaken in 2017 at the Phasmid Studio in Berlin. Based in Melbourne she has shown regularly in solo and group exhibitions within public and commercial galleries in Australia and overseas as well as project spaces and artist run initiatives.  

Her research interests centre on the nature of contemporary devotional practices and rituals.  Practices which seek out the evolutionary potential of recreating a self which is consistently and creatively reimagined through contemplation upon notions of the sacred, interior and spiritual dimensions.    Her research acts in response to the narrow frameworks operating within visual media with its ongoing emphasis on exteriority and surface-based obsessions.  This, along with the continued objectification, diminishing or rendering invisible of those who do not fit within ongoing cultural ideals of beauty and value. 

Through colourful spatial installations of drawing, photography, video and crafted objects her practice reflects a deep contemplation of how we envision the self as an image and alternatively how via our own representations of self we can connect to something else entirely; like the spiritual realm.  We can see that the art of self-representation when viewed through the eye of devotional ritual or ceremonial action becomes for the individual concerned both a consecrated pursuit and a sacred occupation.

This residency is generously supported by a Special Study Program (Long), VCA & MCM Faculty Research Grant, the University of Melbourne.

David Palliser : November—December 2016

David Palliser at work

David Palliser

1 November—20 December 2016

VCA - Melbourne University

David Palliser, Artists statement, 2016

At Phasmid Studios I will be continuing the work I did in Leipzig last year at during my LIA residency. I will be working primarily on paper, often using a collage method where drawings are torn and holes are cut and the paper and image are reassembled. This give a kind on default spatial jump and rescues lost causes.  I will also be developing my improvised music with saxophone and elementary percussion – During my time in Berlin I will perform at MissHecker and Noiseberg, where I will collaborate with some local musicians. At MissHecker, I will release my new cd “Lame and Free”. Of course I’ll be exploring intently the Berlin art and music scene as well- there’s nothing like it!

This residency is generously supported by a Special Study Program (Long), VCA & MCM Faculty Research Grant, the University of Melbourne.